Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s announcement Tuesday that he will “actively explore” a run for president in 2016 drew an immediate reaction from social media users on Twitter. Bush, 61, revealed in a Facebook post that a family conversation at Thanksgiving dinner informed his potential course of action.
“We shared good food and watched a whole lot of football,” Bush wrote. "We also talked about the future of our nation. As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States.”
He added: “In January, I also plan to establish a leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans."
Bush did not definitively say that he would run for president in 2016, but concluded his note with a vow that he would “be in touch soon.” Bush is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush.
The Facebook announcement came about two weeks after he told a gathering of the world’s top business leaders at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council that he would decide “in short order” whether he would run. Almost three quarters of the CEOs who attended the event said they would support Bush as the Republican nominee.
Democratic National Committee Communications Director Mo Elleithee lost no time speaking out against a Bush candidacy. “I don’t know what the difference is between ‘thinking about’ running and ‘actively exploring’ running, but I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping his name in the news. However you see it, there’s no parsing this simple fact: Jeb Bush has fully embraced the failed economic agenda that benefits only a select few at the expense of the middle class. That’s not going to change no matter how many different ways he says he may run," Elleithee said.
Twitter users had a widespread, largely negative reaction to Bush’s statement. A roundup of some of their reactions can be found below.
There are really only two groups of voters that genuinely dislike Jeb Bush. The Left and the Right. I'd say he's got a real shot in 2016.
— John Schindler (@20committee) December 16, 2014
I'm actually pretty jealous of @JebBush I mean that kind of blatantly delusional self-confidence must make life pretty fun.
— Katherine Timpf (@kctimpf) December 16, 2014
I have announced an exploratory mission to see if there are any twitter jokes still undiscovered about Jeb Bush's exploratory presidency.
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) December 16, 2014
Jeb Bush stokes talk of 2016 presidential run by dressing exactly like the vice principal of your high school. pic.twitter.com/9vLKiZJE8i
— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) December 14, 2014
Now the big question is will Condi be his Veep?! http://t.co/R0cVwYGaLp
— Tina Brown (@TinaBrownLM) December 16, 2014
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) December 16, 2014
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) December 16, 2014
If elected, Jeb Bush would have the longest gap (14 years) between when a president last ran for elected office since James Buchanan (1/2)
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) December 16, 2014
I wonder if Jeb Bush announcing that he's probably running for president means Cheney will be heading up the VP nominating committee again
— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) December 16, 2014